Charles Bronfman Auditorium Renovation

Opening Year 2013
Location Tel Aviv, Israel
Capacity 2,430 seats
Architect Kolker Kolker Epstein Architects (2013 renovation)
Dov Karmi, Zeev Rechter, and Yaakov Rechter (1957 original)
Owner Heichal Hatarbut
User Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Construction Cost ILS 165M (renovation)

Plans were once in place to renovate Mann Auditorium, but the effort was stopped when UNESCO declared central Tel Aviv-including Mann Auditorium-a World Heritage Site in 2003. The UNESCO declaration required preservation of the building’s exterior and interior, precluding changes to the look of the hall. Given these constraints, the challenge posed to us by this project was how to improve the hall’s acoustics without altering the building exterior and without fundamentally changing the interior’s design. Our renovation design included four main changes to the auditorium interior and the stage:

  • The metal ceiling was replaced with an acoustically transparent, expanded metal ceiling to maintain the interior visual appearance, and a new acoustic ceiling was created high above the expanded metal ceiling. As a result, the ceiling height above the stage increased from 10 m to 15 – 16 m and substantially increased the overall spatial volume of the auditorium.
  • Low walls in the auditorium’s main floor seating area were added to achieve sound reflections from these additional surfaces.
  • The angle of the auditorium’s side walls were modified to obtain effective sound reflections.
  • The stage was enlarged to accommodate larger ensembles, and mechanically operated risers were installed for flexibility and enhanced stage acoustics. Walls surrounding the stage were also modified.

Prior to the renovations, the hall’s acoustics could be described in one word as “dry” and the audience seating felt distant from the stage acoustically. The renovation project totally transformed the hall’s acoustics. Now the orchestra’s presence on stage feels close to the audience and the entire interior of the hall gives the impression of having strong acoustics. Instead of being a “dry” space it has become a “lively” space.

⭳Download PDF fact-sheet